I had a funny conversation with a friend tonight in which she wished me some downtime, which I NEED, and I laughed and said, “Downtime? What’s that?” “Just a joke adults make with each other sometimes,” she said. I couldn’t help but laugh.
The truth is, we do need downtime, but are we giving ourselves downtime? I’m a self-diagnosed workaholic. When I even try to grasp my head around the thought of taking ten days off of work to go to Alaska, or even four days off to go to Cape Cod (in the same state!), I honestly can’t imagine shutting off the phone and computer completely. Sometimes I don’t know how to take it easy, because I’ve spent so many years NOT taking it easy. I spent so many years putting others first before me.
After I had given birth to Scarlet, people asked me all the time – “What are you doing for self-care?” In truth, I had never even thought about self-care before. I’m not sure I had ever heard the term before! I thought I didn’t deserve self-care. For years. I thought my husband did because he worked outside the office, while I stayed home. I was wrong. I stayed home with the kid, and then the kids, for years while we struggled. After I had given birth to Des, and he had spent a week in the NICU, I came down with both a sinus infection and an allergy to the Penicillin used to treat the sinus infection, I shuffled into the doctor’s office for a second time in one week. “What are you doing for self-care?” He asked. “What are you doing for YOU?”
Now I know better. I thought then that no one could help lighten my load, even though people were willing and still are. Self-care starts with yourself. If we are lucky enough to have a third baby in the coming years, I will practice these tips:
Five Self-Care Tips For Expectant, New & Experienced Moms:
I still think of myself as a new mom, but I suppose I have nearly seven years of experience. I have been on a health/wellness journey for 2016, but it’s hard sometimes. It’s been a strange year. Sometimes all you can do is start with yourself. For me that means better stress management, regular walks/runs/hikes, barre classes, fruits and vegetables, and good vitamins.
1. The physical. It’s amazing how good it can feel to take a hot shower or a long bath. To have your hair washed, cut or colored. To feel connections with other people, to feel strength in yourself, and to feel pampered and cared for. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant, pregnant, a new mom, or even an experienced mom, I feel that this always important. Take the time to shower, get dressed, get that regular haircut and dental appointment (two years without both for me once).
2. Move your body. Why, oh why, did it take me so long to actually listen to this advice? You need to find your own movement – whether it’s through walking, running, yoga, classes, and more. Who with? What? Where? When? Why?
3. Don’t stop being YOU. And if you’re part of a couple, don’t stop being a couple during this journey. I recommend regular date nights, and even regular solo date nights. Whatever it takes, whether it’s one or both. I recommend both.
4. Learn to manage that stress. Connect. Reach in. Reach out. It’s pretty rich advice coming from me – a known anxious person – but that’s all the more reason to listen to me. I know how it can go! Deep breathe. Exercise. Do acupuncture. Yell at the sky. Connect with friends. Seek support – whether personally or professionally. There is a wide world out there, full of defenses against the dark feelings. Time-outs, hydration, and fruits and vegetables help a LOT. Deep breaths.
Surely if you’ve read this far, health and wellness is important to you like it is to me. Do you read labels like I do, to know where your food comes from? Do you consistently look for new and fresh ways to nourish your own body, as well as provide nourishment for your family? You’re in the right place! I know you’re busy like me, and have a lot on your plate. New Chapter Vitamins and Supplements can help you on your journey – delivering the nutrients you need, in a pure form.* They are uniquely formulated to support the health needs of each life stage.* The individual vitamins and minerals are fermented with beneficial probiotics and whole foods, to transform the multivitamins into whole-food fermented nutrients. The result? Nourishing supplements gentle enough to take anytime, and even on an empty stomach.
I have both Perfect Prenatal and Perfect Postnatal. When you’re pregnant or planning to be, it’s more vital than ever to eat a variety of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, and OB/GYNs and midwives may also recommend taking daily prenatal vitamins to provide consistent nutritional support for you and your growing baby.
During the postnatal time, a women’s nutritional needs have changed after pregnancy and birth, so New Chapter’s Perfect Postnatal multivitamin is formulated especially to help moms after giving birth.* It incorporates targeted nutrients that help nourish and provide energy, mood and lactation support for new moms.*
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, care, or prevent any disease. )